Minister Paul Holloway has been accused of being too embarrassed to reveal answers to questions about his taxpayer funded overseas travel and frequent flyer points.
Liberal Member of the Legislative Council Rob Lucas said today that Mr Holloway and most other Rann Government Ministers (in fact, 13 out of 15 Ministers including Premier Rann and Treasurer Foley) have refused for about eight months to answer questions in Parliament about frequent flyer points collected from taxpayer funded travel.
The following question was placed on notice in February this year in Parliament:
“Since March 2002 –
1. How many frequent flyer points has the Minister accumulated from any taxpayer funded travel?
2. Has the Minister used frequent flyer points accumulated from any taxpayer funded travel for travel by the Minister or any other person?
If yes –
(a) Will the Minister provide details of any such travel undertaken by the Minister? (b) Will the Minister provide details of any such travel undertaken by any other person?”
Mr Holloway has had about 10 separate overseas trips in the last three to four years and the total cost of these trips is estimated to be more than $250,000.
Mr Holloway was again asked today in Parliament what he had to hide and again refused to provide an answer to the question.
“This is just another example of the Rann Government’s arrogance as it obviously doesn’t believe it should be held accountable publicly in the same way that Federal Members of Parliament are required to be kept accountable,” Mr Lucas said.
“For example, in June this year all Federal Members of Parliament were required to provide details of all frequent flyer points collected on official travel and whether any of the points had been redeemed for official travel.
“Mr Holloway obviously believes he can spend about $250,000 of taxpayer money on overseas trips, but not be required to answer any questions about frequent flyer points.
“The Rann Government made many promises prior to the election about openness and accountability, so now they must justify publicly why they have refused to answer these questions.
“If there is nothing to hide, then the Rann Government should have no problem in releasing the answers.”